2017 NFL Predictions: Who Wins The Divisions?
Picking some playoff teams, as is our wont.
2017 NFL Predictions: AFC East Order of Finish
New England Patriots (Division Champion): Okay, so Julian Edelman got hurt. It wasn’t Tom Brady. How many Super Bowls do they have to win before you believe they can get there as long as Brady is around?
Buffalo Bills: A wide gap exists between first and second. It could look something like 15-1 vs. 9-7. Buffalo is an imperfect, average team that have no hope beyond second place this season. Then again, nobody but the Pats will get beyond second.
Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins surprised everyone by getting to the playoffs last season. Their hopes rest on the arm of Jay Cutler. No further comment required.
New York Jets: The Jets have already forfeited the season and it hasn’t even started yet. Tank, baby, tank.
2017 NFL Predictions: AFC North Order of Finish
Pittsburgh Steelers (Division Champion): The Steelers are a team you can picture in the AFC title game, and that’s not different from most other years. They keep on plugging away.
Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals still have the pieces to get back to the playoffs, but surely the window is closing. Despite a sense that Cincy is on a downward trend, this could be the ol’ “dead cat bounce” season. Apropos, really.
Baltimore Ravens: “Elite” Joe Flacco decides how far this team goes. There are too many questions about them right now to take a chance on Baltimore as a playoff team.
Cleveland Browns: A no-brainer, and this is no different from any other year, either. They don’t know what the hell they’re doing, yet Hue Jackson was a respectable hire at the time. Cleveland might not be the first name Roger Goodell puts on the clock next spring. There’s just no room for this team to move up in the division.
2017 NFL Predictions: AFC South Order of Finish
Houston Texans (Division Champion): The Texans will have some added incentive to win this year.
Tennessee Titans (Wild Card): Tennessee is one of the most exciting teams on the upswing in the AFC. They could win the division outright with Marcus Mariota at the helm.
Indianapolis Colts: The writing is on the wall for Chuck Pagano, and even though they have Andrew Luck, where’s his help?
Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jags could take big steps forward in the next few years with Tom Coughlin running the football operations. Right now, their quarterback situation is lamentable, and it will hold them back.
2017 NFL Predictions: AFC West Order of Finish
Oakland Raiders (Division Champion): Jack Del Rio and Derek Carr have the Raiders back to glory. They caught a horrible break in the playoffs last year, but a healthy Carr makes this a dangerous team.
Kansas City Chiefs (Wild Card): Andy Reid getting his teams to the playoffs usually isn’t a problem. On paper, this is a very good team, anyway.
Denver Broncos: Denver is a wild card team, but not in the sense that we literally think they’re a wild card. This is a borderline playoff team that has the potential to do far more.
Los Angeles Chargers: Like last season, it’s hard to see where the Bolts fit into the AFC West picture.